In this study we examined whether experiences of discrimination during childhood and adolescence were told to parents, the reasons for not telling, and whether telling was associated with adolescent characteristics and aspects of the current parent-child relationship. The sample included 200 ethnically diverse college students. Results supported a transactional view of socialization whereby youth who had not shared their discrimination stories expected negative parental reactions or were concerned for their parents' well-being. The likelihood of telling was not directly associated with ethnicity, gender, or parent-child communication. Rather, those who rated the discrimination event as more important and reported greater current parental cultural and racial socialization were more likely to have disclosed their story of discrimination, depending on ethnicity. Understanding disclosure of discrimination experiences is important. When adolescents choose not to share experiences of discrimination with their parents, there may be lost opportunities for a greater understanding of these challenging experiences.
- Adolescent disclosure
- Parent-adolescent relationship
- Racial socialization
- Racial/ethnic discrimination